January 16, 2016

Bod Pod: One Year's Results

One year ago I signed up for my first Bod Pod test. A Bod Pod uses air displacement to measure body mass and can tell you, pretty accurately, how much lean or fat mass your body carries. It also gave me my RMR which is the amount of calories my body burns at rest; my true starting point. Add in exercise and you can gauge the amount of calories you should consume to lose or gain depending on your goals. Today, I had my 2nd test done and I am pretty excited about my results. I lost 2.3% or 6lbs of fat (FAT, not water, fat!), and gained a little over 2lbs of muscle.  Contrary to what many people believe, muscle is not easy to build so this was exciting to me. Additionally, I raised my RMR which means that at even at rest, I'm burning more calories than I used to, and my Total Energy Expenditure (my average daily calorie burn during activity) by 450 calories! This seems like a lot of numbers but the bottom line is that small, daily efforts truly do lead to long term, staggering results. Healthy is not just about what the scale says; and if you think it is, you've set yourself up for failure and you're not in the game for the right reason. Healthy is about healing yourself from the inside and taking care of all of your parts, not just the outside.

One year. The time passed whether I wanted to put in the effort or not. Today I could be sitting here disappointed in myself for what I didn't do, but instead I did what I needed to, and received positive results that said that everything I'm doing is working. And I look forward to seeing what each year will bring!

So, will you put in the time and effort and invest in yourself? Will you be able to look back a year from now and be thankful for the work you put in? I believe in you; I know you can. Now go, get to it!

December 31, 2015

2015 Year in Review

Today I finished 2015 with a 4 mile reflective run so I felt the need to share my thoughts with my friends 😊 

I'm not one of those people that has to have music when I run; oftentimes I use that time to think...many times I'm really just thinking about how great it'll feel when I'm done 😜 As 2015 comes to a close, I thought back to this time last year. Of course at that time, I was ever hopeful that I would finally reach my goal weight, but an entire year later, I am finally able to laugh at the fact that I still anchored "health" with a number. Healthy is so much more than what the scale says! I honestly believe that now. I am thankful that I'm closer to a more appropriate weight for me than I was last year, but continuing to put a timeframe on it is ridiculous. Life throws in hurdles to challenge you and hands you amazing opportunities to prove to yourself that you're stronger than you think. This year brought so many opportunities. I was handed a few illness and injury obstacles. I know that at some point I won't be able to compare "Unhealthy Jenn" with "Healthy Jenn" anymore but for now, I still can. UJ would have given up as soon as one of these obstacles showed up. But HJ can't even imagine giving up. These challenges are strength builders. I was set to run my first half marathon and never got to do it because of my torn meniscus. My heart was broken - but I  never gave up; instead today I can celebrate that before getting hurt I ran the farthest I had ever run: 9 miles...and I'm thankful that my running days are not over like I thought they would be. I was also given the opportunity to spend more time working out at Crossfit and fell in love all over again; it helps me mentally and physically. I have met wonderful people and have amazing coaches that tailored workouts for me while I rehabbed. I learned to be a little more patient while listening to my body. 

As I begin my 5th year of my healthy makeover, I AM healthy. That was my goal all along, and here I am healthier than I have been since high school. Four years ago if you'd have told UJ where she'd be today, she wouldn't have believed you. But here we are. 

In 2015, I ran 114+ miles, hiked 35+ miles, walked 130+ miles and completed more WOD's than I can even count. This is my healthy life...every day making the decision to keep going and to make healthy choices as often as I can. I am so thankful for this life and I refuse to waste it. I cannot wait to see what 2016 will bring! 

Happy New Year to all of you! Thank you always for your support and encouraging words, I cannot express how appreciative I am for you! Here's to a healthy new year and new opportunities to uncover your amazing strengths.


October 12, 2015

My First Official 10k!

Hey there!  It's been a little while since I've written a post here and I thought today would be a great day.  It isn't that I haven't been over here plugging along on my journey, quite the contrary, I'm still most definitely plugging along on this journey!

I wanted to share a few things from this weekend with ya'll!  On Saturday I completed my first official 10k race, at The Freedoms Run, and it was amazing.  I say "official" because I've run that distance many times but this was the first time I was doing it as a race.  Since I hurt my knee training for my half marathon, I haven't run too far and this was the longest I have run since May!  I was super happy and finished at 1:21 - nine minutes sooner than I planned!  And even though I have completed longer runs on my own, I was still scared as HELL to do this; but I did it anyway because you know my motto:  if it scares me, and I won't die trying, I'm gonna do it!

Here is a pic of me at the finish:

You'll notice I'm carrying a flag and I just want to take a minute to talk about the significance of this flag for me.  I am a member of this wonderful running group and it's called Bros Andbras...this is our official flag that is flown at races as a sort of beacon for our members to gather and as a rally point.  There are some pretty amazing runners in this group and I am honored to be a part of it because there are still some days that I just don't think of myself as an official runner.  We have so many levels of runners from beginner to expert.  So, to carry this flag over the finish line carries a lot of significance for me.  Especially since it came at the end of a tough last mile of hills and I was just exhausted.  The first 2/3 of the race was really great.  We started in beautiful downtown Shepherdstown, WV and ran down to the river and most of the run was on flat road along the river; a "nice" up-and-back.  I knew that I had to run back up a big hill which I had already pre-planned to walk.  I had felt great up to this point and was so happy to see the Hubs a few times along the route to keep me motivated.  He is and always has been my Number 1 fan and I'm so grateful!

About the time, I was to head up the biggest hill of the race, our leader Kevin (above, in red) came out of nowhere to find me, carrying our flag.  He had signed up to run the 10k, too but he made it his mission to help every single one of us in both the 5k and the 10k get up that big hill.  He was there to make sure I was doing okay.  We got to the big hill and he told me how to pump my arms, and throw my knees forward and that worked for a little bit.  I had to walk though because I was having trouble breathing.  He grabbed my hand and pulled me along telling me that all I had to do was concentrate on getting my breath back and he'd pull me.  We made it up the hill and since I was the last of our group he ran the rest of the way with me (with a few more hills, ugh) and met up with another member, David (in green) and the three of us finished, together.  Both of these guys are much faster runners than me - they had signed up for their own races, but they chose to finish their races with me.  As I write this, I am again in tears at how much this meant to me. 

The funny thing is that I am a lone runner...I don't typically like to run with other people because I'm slow and I never want to hold anyone back - plus, I am normally out of breath so I'm not much fun to chat with.  Even so, finishing WITH these two was one of my favorite parts of this whole experience.

I am so proud of myself and my knee for holding up and that I was able to experience such a great day with some pretty great people.

You know I always want to leave you with some positive advice and what I want to say to you today reiterates what I have been saying all along:  be brave...go do something that scares the crap out of you because every time you do, you start to realize how strong you really are.  And you are strong!